Large Diameter Pipes in Hydronic Heating System

I've got some large pipes in the basement that are about 4-6" in diameter. I think they were left over from a previous steam system but am not sure. I'm trying to do different things to make the heating system more efficient. I'm going to insulate these pipes...but before I do I wanted to make sure there wasn't justification to replace them. With what a plumber costs per hour I'm almost sure the answer is no, but they are rather long runs of piping and I'm basically heating up a good deal of "extra" water each time. Anyone else have any experience with this? Thanks.
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None to win over an argument. Most likely, It's just old piping from when it was a gravity system.

Then insulate them very, very well. Insulate your home very, very well,,, as well.
-zero
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wrote:

I would remove them all and install 1/2" copper pipes. It will hold less water/steam and with a Pipe@Booster you will move it very fast and efficient. Install a new digital programmable stat too with new low voltage wiring. Bubba
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ACTUALLY ... the system should be visually looked at but a pro. Then the determination can be made if it needs any changes at all. -zero....hit it right on the head......it is an old gravity system that used larger diameter pipes, because there were no pumps way back then. You do not need any larger pumps either ... what comes with a new boiler is good enough. You just moving water. Of course... a new High efficient boiler would help in the gas usage. And keep the terminology correct...either you have steam or you have water! Insulating helps, but keep in mind that the heat from the pipes radiate heat to the area where the pipes are
Just my $72.50 worth...send cash

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buffalo ny: climate may freeze water pipes if you reduce basement's waste heat. we have an anti-freeze thermostat running electric water pipe heaters in winter with the old boiler gone.
oldhouse99 wrote:

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All,
Thanks for the info. I'll ask a heating pro about it, but I do have the concern that they have the incentives to want to do work whether needed or not. Or maybe I'll just insulate it.
I do have a hot water system with modern oil fired furnace with programmable thermostat. My mentioning steam is based on my guess that maybe it was steam in the past and then converted. I think that some peoples guess that it was a gravity fed system may be correct.
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